News Profile of Tribal Marriage Equality Initiatives

Here is “These Native-American Tribes Are Pioneering Marriage Equality:The Puyallup Tribe is the latest to join a growing list of Native-American tribes legalizing same-sex marriage, many in states that have banned it.”

Coquille Tribe’s Forest Management Seeks Balance

An excerpt from the Register-Guard:

Logging practices on the Coquille Tribe’s forest are drawing attention locally and nationally as the tribe’s foresters work to balance ecological concerns with timber production.

The tribe, working with the Bureau of Land Management on an experimental logging project, has been recognized for stewardship on its own 5,000-acre forest, and is being sought for collaborative management by Coos County commissioners.


Rules that govern management on BLM’s 2.2 million acres of Western Oregon forests have been swatted around by lawsuits in recent years, with environmentalists calling for less logging and the timber industry demanding more.

Last year, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar called for pilot projects from well-respected forestry researchers on ways to harvest timberland that leave bigger trees behind while giving managers a little more freedom in figuring out which trees to cut.

WaPo on Same-Sex Marriage Vote at Suquamish

Here, via Indianz.

An excerpt:

On Monday, the Suquamish Tribal Council ratified the people’s wishes and recognized gay marriage, making it only the second tribe in the country known to do so.

The new law allows the tribal court to issue a marriage license to two unmarried people, regardless of their sex, if they’re at least 18 years old and at least one of them is enrolled in the tribe.

It will be up to other courts to decide if unions granted under the Suquamish ordinance will be recognized elsewhere in Washington, said the tribe’s attorney, Michelle Hansen.

Gay marriage is still illegal in the state, but the Legislature this year approved a measure recognizing same-sex unions from other jurisdictions, which include other nations. State lawmakers also have approved a so-called “everything but marriage” law, granting same-sex couples many rights.

“I wanted to feel accepted by my tribe,” Purser said. “I was expecting a fight to be ugly. But I was so shocked. I guess I was expecting the worst out of people. I was expecting the worst out of my people.”

Incidentally, I’m on record as saying that the only other tribe that has approved same-sex marriage is the Coquille Tribe:

The Coquille Indian Tribe on the southern Oregon coast is the only other tribe that recognizes same-sex marriage, said Matthew L.M. Fletcher, a law professor at the Michigan State University Indigenous Law Center.

If there are others, please let us know!

Coquille Tribe Recognizes Same Sex Marriages

From OPB News (H/T Falmouth):

This May the Coquille Tribe on Oregon’s Southern Coast adopted a policy recognizing same-sex marriages.

It’s believed to be the first tribe in the country to do so.  As Andrew Theen reports, one tribal member and her partner plan to be legally married in Oregon next spring.

Kitzen and Jeni Branting have been together for over a decade.   They are domestic partners in the state of Washington where they live, and Jeni already changed her last name to Branting.

Since May Jeni has already been recognized as a tribal spouse.  She is eligible for the tribe’s healthcare benefits.

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